Growing up I learned Africa was the future. That though, the continent had been taunted by the bitter experiences of slavery, slave trade and colonialism, it possessed a vast variety of natural resources.
The history books gave all the facts and records about the prowess of this continent; seemingly unending tales of how imperialist powers scrambled for a share in the continent’s riches then and now.
Something however kept lingering in my thoughts; how come a continent so powerful, the genesis of civilization itself was still so backward and redundant? Not a single developed country but rather very slowly developing economies constantly depending on foreign aid in times of crisis.
Then again I witnessed a great number of my fellow brothers and sisters, risking their lives in the Mediterranean in search of greener pastures. Some made it. Rescue missions collected the floating bodies of others, whose loved ones probably never got a chance to give them a proper burial.
It felt like the slave trade all over again but just this time, we were not cuffed around our necks, feet and hands and strung along in chains. We were not being severely whipped to row the ships to those plantations of misery neither were we forcefully torn from the arms of our loved ones.
This time, we willingly told our loved ones good bye, travelled to the shores and rowed our tiny boats away in utter desperation. The slavery, this time was a psychological one; a mental prison many of my fellow Africans had been caged in with the belief a better life was only attainable out of the continent.
The freedom from this mental prison was to set a trend that will establish a new pattern of thoughts; a different perspective as to what Africa had to offer and what the youths can do to foster change.
It dawned on me that Africa was ours to build; our very own baby we had to nurture. No one was going to do it for us neither was anyone going to build their country for us to come and live comfortably in; and so what if we gained the comfort elsewhere? We still had to leave a legacy for the coming generations.
The ‘Nawewe’ Project:
‘NaWeWe’ was therefore created to instill in the minds of Africans the idea that we had a responsibility towards Africa’s growth; that we possessed everything we needed to see and be the change for Africa.
The name ‘NaWeWe’ for this movement is inspired from the original pidgin and Swahili expressions which mean ‘Together’ and ‘With You’ respectively in the English language.
In order to promote prosperity, it was important to tackle certain fundamental issues from the core which involved providing proper guidance and orientation for our African brothers and sisters.
There is no doubt Africa’s youth is talented but I felt the need to help many of these youths identify their career paths and follow them; drilling the coming generations to find their calling, purpose and how they can effectively utilize their gifts in making Africa better.
During our studies in Asia we – Vigilant Ade and Edward Vabi frequently talked about how we could engage other youths in pushing the continent forward. It may sound cliché but charity truly begins at home.
Finally done with studies, we returned to Cameroon to push the ‘NaWeWe’ agenda forward which is that of career coaching.
We envisioned an atmosphere where Africans could support each other in realizing the true potential of their respective beloved countries and continent as a whole- a vision that would be brought to light through the creation and sharing of innovative ideas.
Through the career coaching activities of ‘NaWeWe’, we can finally get to mobilize impact-driven Africans to lead development in Africa; a new generation of young African leaders around the world will emerge to create a deep and long-lasting impact in their communities, thereby instilling the pride we all should bear for our motherland in others.
‘NaWeWe’ is one of those driving forces many African youths need to unlock their untapped potential in order to effect positive change on the continent- a change that could be manifested in any domain like technology, business and health.
Development will certainly come at a much faster rate if the brain drain is reduced and our youths are properly guided into their purpose.
‘Together’ we can transform Africa!
Listen to Edward Vabi and Vigilant Ade in this podcast PC003-Entrepreneurs Digest.
Also read: Hawker to CEO (The Long Walk to My Childhood Dream), ‘I am not afraid to fail’- My Story as an Entrepreneur and I was born for something bigger; to get insights as an entrepreneur.